Changes in the skeleton and internal organs

Striking changes occurred in the skull; for example, there was a shortening of the snout and jaws and at the same time a reduction of the number of teeth (dog, cat, cattle, pig). The shortened snout and accentuated rounded eyes induced the juvenile appearance of the "eternal cub." It also resulted in lower brainpower and smaller brain volume. The skeleton became less resistant than that of wild animals as a consequence of the "comfortable life" with its lack of movement. For the same reasons, the size of some of the physical organs decreased, for example, the heart (35% lower by weight in the domestic rabbit when compared to its wild ancestor). Of course there are exceptions. The English thoroughbred, trained for several centuries for racing, has a heart about one fifth heavier than that of other horses of the same size. The fat storage mechanism has also been modified by domestication. In wild animals, fat is stored in the surroundings of the

A quadriplegic woman with a capuchin monkey as an aid. Monkey helpers perform simple, every day tasks such as getting food and drink, retrieving dropped or out of reach items, turning lights on and off, and other chores. (Photo by Rita Nannini/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

if they come in contact with them at all. They are denied the learning that parents teach their offspring in the wild.

0 0

Post a comment